Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Malthusian Population Theory

Economic model that the British population would increase at a geometric rate while food supply would increase at an lower arithmetic rate (ratio of increase), leading to poverty and starvation that would eventually bring about famine, high infant mortality, disease, war, or moral restraint. Proposed by Thomas Malthus in 1798, the theory has been modernized in the assertion that virtually any species’ reproduction exceeds the carrying capacity of its environment, and that balance is restored through mechanisms such as predation.

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